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270 blogs
  • 04 Nov 2015
    Richard Barker is the Marketing Manager at Bradford based Web Design Company Harrison Mann. He founded @CharityHourUK on Twitter and has been involved in over 50 charity events for charities close to his heart in Yorkshire. If you represent a charity and haven't yet discovered the Twitter Hour then you're missing out! You're missing out promotion and publicity for sure, but more importantly you’re also missing out on people. A Twitter Hour allows you to build relationships that could be vital to the success of the important work that you do. If you’ve not used a Twitter Hour before, it's simply a pre-arranged hour for a sector - or any specific group of like-minded people - to get together and talk about issues important to them. Complete with their own hashtag, they are accessible, browsable and chock-full of incredible links and relevant discussions. It's like joining a think tank for an hour from the comfort of your sofa! Why Charity Hour? @CharityHourUK is the immensely popular Twitter Hour for those of us involved in the charity sector, as well people looking to raise awareness of charity fundraising events. You can be assured of proper moderation and tip-top discussions with people from all over the UK sharing tips and advice. Meeting every Wednesday evening from 8-9pm with the hashtag #charityhour, it’s easy to get involved and well worth following. Each charity hour is broken up by five thought-provoking questions for you to get your teeth stuck into. With the creative juices flowing, you can be sure that the interactions will be well worth participating in. How Will You Benefit from Charity Hour? Here’s some reasons why you should get involved: 1. Network and build relationships The three most important words in running any successful charity are people, people and people. There is nothing more valuable than building relationships with supporters, the public, your beneficiaries and other like-minded individuals. Charity hour unlocks the doors to these people. 2. Promote and educate Charity hour gives you a platform to share information and create awareness about the important work that your charity does. It is a great space to educate people about the specific needs that you are trying to meet. 3. Get answers to relevant questions By taking part in the discussions you can find sector experts willing to share their wisdom on issues pertinent to you. You can ask questions, poke through responses and gain insight. Twitter Hour Etiquette For both yourself and everybody else to get the most out of the Charity Hour, here are some simple things for you to think about: 1. Don’t forget to add the Charity Hour hashtag! A hashtag is like eye-contact - it lets everybody know that you want to get involved. Add it into your relevant tweets during the hour so your comments don’t disappear into the twit void. 2. Get involved As tempting as it is to sit on the sidelines, don’t! A fly-on-the-wall will not get much out of the experience. Respond to questions, ask more questions, retweet, mention and get stuck in. Try to stay on topic, remain focused and don’t go on too many tangents. 3. Be friendly, open and have fun Approaching the hour with an open-minded sense of fun, a polite and friendly demeanour, and above all a teachable spirit will help you and others get the very most out of it. Don't be a troll. Do chat with people as if you were sat across the table from them with a cappuccino. 4. Prepare and add value Do your part before #charityhour by using social media to include your supporters. This will help you have the biggest impact locally among your contacts. At the same time this will increase interaction traffic and add value for everybody. So get promoting, blogging, tagging and sharing. Get Involved Charity Hour is a tremendous opportunity for you to develop as a Charity. However Charity Hour is just one of the many Twitter Chats out there. So find local twitter hours in your town, city, county or country and get involved with them. Make people aware of your charity and try and create partnerships with companies and people who may want to fundraise for your charity. But whatever you do just remember that each Twitter Hour is all about interacting and discussions. People are behind each account so get to know everyone and enjoy them!   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar  
    2147 Posted by Richard Barker
  • Richard Barker is the Marketing Manager at Bradford based Web Design Company Harrison Mann. He founded @CharityHourUK on Twitter and has been involved in over 50 charity events for charities close to his heart in Yorkshire. If you represent a charity and haven't yet discovered the Twitter Hour then you're missing out! You're missing out promotion and publicity for sure, but more importantly you’re also missing out on people. A Twitter Hour allows you to build relationships that could be vital to the success of the important work that you do. If you’ve not used a Twitter Hour before, it's simply a pre-arranged hour for a sector - or any specific group of like-minded people - to get together and talk about issues important to them. Complete with their own hashtag, they are accessible, browsable and chock-full of incredible links and relevant discussions. It's like joining a think tank for an hour from the comfort of your sofa! Why Charity Hour? @CharityHourUK is the immensely popular Twitter Hour for those of us involved in the charity sector, as well people looking to raise awareness of charity fundraising events. You can be assured of proper moderation and tip-top discussions with people from all over the UK sharing tips and advice. Meeting every Wednesday evening from 8-9pm with the hashtag #charityhour, it’s easy to get involved and well worth following. Each charity hour is broken up by five thought-provoking questions for you to get your teeth stuck into. With the creative juices flowing, you can be sure that the interactions will be well worth participating in. How Will You Benefit from Charity Hour? Here’s some reasons why you should get involved: 1. Network and build relationships The three most important words in running any successful charity are people, people and people. There is nothing more valuable than building relationships with supporters, the public, your beneficiaries and other like-minded individuals. Charity hour unlocks the doors to these people. 2. Promote and educate Charity hour gives you a platform to share information and create awareness about the important work that your charity does. It is a great space to educate people about the specific needs that you are trying to meet. 3. Get answers to relevant questions By taking part in the discussions you can find sector experts willing to share their wisdom on issues pertinent to you. You can ask questions, poke through responses and gain insight. Twitter Hour Etiquette For both yourself and everybody else to get the most out of the Charity Hour, here are some simple things for you to think about: 1. Don’t forget to add the Charity Hour hashtag! A hashtag is like eye-contact - it lets everybody know that you want to get involved. Add it into your relevant tweets during the hour so your comments don’t disappear into the twit void. 2. Get involved As tempting as it is to sit on the sidelines, don’t! A fly-on-the-wall will not get much out of the experience. Respond to questions, ask more questions, retweet, mention and get stuck in. Try to stay on topic, remain focused and don’t go on too many tangents. 3. Be friendly, open and have fun Approaching the hour with an open-minded sense of fun, a polite and friendly demeanour, and above all a teachable spirit will help you and others get the very most out of it. Don't be a troll. Do chat with people as if you were sat across the table from them with a cappuccino. 4. Prepare and add value Do your part before #charityhour by using social media to include your supporters. This will help you have the biggest impact locally among your contacts. At the same time this will increase interaction traffic and add value for everybody. So get promoting, blogging, tagging and sharing. Get Involved Charity Hour is a tremendous opportunity for you to develop as a Charity. However Charity Hour is just one of the many Twitter Chats out there. So find local twitter hours in your town, city, county or country and get involved with them. Make people aware of your charity and try and create partnerships with companies and people who may want to fundraise for your charity. But whatever you do just remember that each Twitter Hour is all about interacting and discussions. People are behind each account so get to know everyone and enjoy them!   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar  
    Nov 04, 2015 2147
  • 02 Nov 2015
    Data protection, the secret to a lasting donor relationship Over the summer the charity sector was faced with a host of uncomfortable headlines. This has rightfully led to some deep soul searching. Data protection was one area which was subject to particular scrutiny. Localgiving feel strongly about the need to protect donors. For this reason, we recently compiled a simple help sheet aimed at improving your understanding of how the Data Protection Act applies to charities and community groups. Make sure you take a look so that you know what you need to do to protect donor’s personal information and ensure you don’t break the rules when sending out marketing communications. If you’ve seen our help sheet for data protection, and you understand what you can and can’t do, read on for some practical tips to make it easier to do the right thing. 1. Create a simple donor database to help you keep things up to date We strongly recommend creating a donor database to keep your information accurate and up to date. Any basic spreadsheet software programme such as MS Excel can be used to easily do this. All you need to do is create a table with at least 3 columns like the one shown below:   Each time you get a new donor you can just add their information to the next row in the table. Then make sure you keep this up to date with any changes that your donors let you know about. If they tell you they no longer wish to receive communications from you then you need to update their record in this table.  You can also record more information in this database about your donors - for example their address or telephone number and the number of times or amount they have donated to you. Just make sure you keep things up to date. You can download our template to help you get started with managing your communications here. If you have a Localgiving account you can use the marketing report available in the “My Donations section” as a basis for your donor database. You can download it regularly to see if there have been any changes. Don’t forget if a donor has contacted you directly to say they don’t want your to contact them, you should not send them any more marketing information, even if they haven’t updated their Localgiving record. 2. Check your donor database before you send out marketing communications When you would like to send out an email to your donors you should check your new donor database to make sure you are not contacting people who have said they don’t want to be contacted. 3. Always ask donor’s permission before sending them marketing communications You should always ask new donors whether they are happy to receive future marketing communications from you when they first donate. If they donate to you directly you must ask their permission. Include a statement similar to the one on the right on forms your donor fills in. If they donate through Localgiving we will have already asked them. If they agreed, their contact details will be shown in the marketing report. 4. Include simple instructions for opting out of future messages in all marketing communications You should explain how your donors can opt out of future marketing messages each time you contact them. For example include a statement at the bottom of all your emails to say: “If you no longer wish to hear from our fundraising team please reply to this email and we will remove you from our mailing list”. You should make sure you update your donor database each time someone tells you they don’t want to be contacted anymore. 5. Protect donor’s personal information when sending out email marketing If you are using a simple email client like Gmail to contact your donors, you need to make sure you don’t accidentally share your donor’s email address with everyone on your mailing list by adding all the email to the “To” or “Cc” field.     You can do this easily by using the “Bcc” function when sending out an email. Put your organisation’s email in the “To” box and then add your donor’s email address to the “Bcc” box. This will ensure that each donor can only see their own email address.  6. Make sure everyone in your organisation understands their responsibilities to protect donor’s personal information Don’t forget to make sure that everyone in your organisation knows what they need to do. Everyone should follow data protection rules when it comes to sending marketing information to your donors. Always provide training to new employees and make sure to offer refresher training to existing employees at regular intervals.  --- This blog post is intended to help small charities and community groups get started with Data Protection. For more detailed information and advice specifically aimed at charities please visit the ICO website here.
    1421 Posted by Louise Boyd
  • Data protection, the secret to a lasting donor relationship Over the summer the charity sector was faced with a host of uncomfortable headlines. This has rightfully led to some deep soul searching. Data protection was one area which was subject to particular scrutiny. Localgiving feel strongly about the need to protect donors. For this reason, we recently compiled a simple help sheet aimed at improving your understanding of how the Data Protection Act applies to charities and community groups. Make sure you take a look so that you know what you need to do to protect donor’s personal information and ensure you don’t break the rules when sending out marketing communications. If you’ve seen our help sheet for data protection, and you understand what you can and can’t do, read on for some practical tips to make it easier to do the right thing. 1. Create a simple donor database to help you keep things up to date We strongly recommend creating a donor database to keep your information accurate and up to date. Any basic spreadsheet software programme such as MS Excel can be used to easily do this. All you need to do is create a table with at least 3 columns like the one shown below:   Each time you get a new donor you can just add their information to the next row in the table. Then make sure you keep this up to date with any changes that your donors let you know about. If they tell you they no longer wish to receive communications from you then you need to update their record in this table.  You can also record more information in this database about your donors - for example their address or telephone number and the number of times or amount they have donated to you. Just make sure you keep things up to date. You can download our template to help you get started with managing your communications here. If you have a Localgiving account you can use the marketing report available in the “My Donations section” as a basis for your donor database. You can download it regularly to see if there have been any changes. Don’t forget if a donor has contacted you directly to say they don’t want your to contact them, you should not send them any more marketing information, even if they haven’t updated their Localgiving record. 2. Check your donor database before you send out marketing communications When you would like to send out an email to your donors you should check your new donor database to make sure you are not contacting people who have said they don’t want to be contacted. 3. Always ask donor’s permission before sending them marketing communications You should always ask new donors whether they are happy to receive future marketing communications from you when they first donate. If they donate to you directly you must ask their permission. Include a statement similar to the one on the right on forms your donor fills in. If they donate through Localgiving we will have already asked them. If they agreed, their contact details will be shown in the marketing report. 4. Include simple instructions for opting out of future messages in all marketing communications You should explain how your donors can opt out of future marketing messages each time you contact them. For example include a statement at the bottom of all your emails to say: “If you no longer wish to hear from our fundraising team please reply to this email and we will remove you from our mailing list”. You should make sure you update your donor database each time someone tells you they don’t want to be contacted anymore. 5. Protect donor’s personal information when sending out email marketing If you are using a simple email client like Gmail to contact your donors, you need to make sure you don’t accidentally share your donor’s email address with everyone on your mailing list by adding all the email to the “To” or “Cc” field.     You can do this easily by using the “Bcc” function when sending out an email. Put your organisation’s email in the “To” box and then add your donor’s email address to the “Bcc” box. This will ensure that each donor can only see their own email address.  6. Make sure everyone in your organisation understands their responsibilities to protect donor’s personal information Don’t forget to make sure that everyone in your organisation knows what they need to do. Everyone should follow data protection rules when it comes to sending marketing information to your donors. Always provide training to new employees and make sure to offer refresher training to existing employees at regular intervals.  --- This blog post is intended to help small charities and community groups get started with Data Protection. For more detailed information and advice specifically aimed at charities please visit the ICO website here.
    Nov 02, 2015 1421
  • 27 Oct 2015
    Richard Sved, founder and director at 3rd Sector Mission Control, is a charity consultant specialising in fundraising, charity strategic planning, governance and communications. There’s been a lot of excitement this week about the new Star Wars film. But this blog is not about that, although it is about Yoda. Yoda and charities.OK, let me explain. I want you to walk with me around London’s Trafalgar Square, let’s say at around 10 on a weekday morning. What do you see? A bit of a crowd of tourists about to head into the National Gallery maybe? Some others taking selfies by the fountains? Maybe an artist has begun a chalk drawing on the pavement? Sure, but there’s something you may have missed. It’s in this picture. The foreground, not the background. Easy to look straight past, eh? But these trollies contain the gear that keeps Yoda flying in the air. If you hang around, you can watch them gradually building the structure. Eventually he looks a little like this: Flying Yoda is pretty impressive, and there’s a few of them around now. In fact, I took this picture of him in York.  But why am I writing about flying Yoda in this blog about charities? Well… Flying Yoda has a few things to teach us. Let’s be clear about what keeps us flying Like this Yoda, all charities need a support structure to make it look like we’re flying. But I wonder whether we’re not selling the general public a line that we’re ‘all about the flying.’ At times we exaggerate – or at least over claim – the benefits of what we do, or the numbers of people we’re reaching with our services, potentially to our detriment. It’s very rare that one organisation’s services provide the ‘magic bullet’ that solves all issues. Furthermore, if we need to provide administrative or support functions to be as effective as possible, let’s be clear about how integral this is to our processes and to achieving positive outcomes. Otherwise we are doing a disservice to ourselves and to our sector. The unseen also has great value We need to be clear why our organisational costs (whether they’re office costs, overheads or staffing) are so important, not just in providing our services but in keeping the show on the road in so many different ways. Similarly, I worry that we are often in danger of undercharging for, and consequently undervaluing, so much of what we do. We are not circus acts And this is the most important point. Do you think anybody in Trafalgar Square actually thinks they're witnessing magic? Isn't part of the fascination in wondering how it's done? We, as charities, need to shatter the often held perception that should be able to perform our miracles for free. We need to explain why we’re the right people to do the job.We need to be clear both about the benefits of what we do, and the expertise we bring to finding the solutions. We are professionals. What we are doing is so important. Let’s stop hiding it beneath a long cloak. May the force be with you.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker   
    2387 Posted by Richard Sved
  • Richard Sved, founder and director at 3rd Sector Mission Control, is a charity consultant specialising in fundraising, charity strategic planning, governance and communications. There’s been a lot of excitement this week about the new Star Wars film. But this blog is not about that, although it is about Yoda. Yoda and charities.OK, let me explain. I want you to walk with me around London’s Trafalgar Square, let’s say at around 10 on a weekday morning. What do you see? A bit of a crowd of tourists about to head into the National Gallery maybe? Some others taking selfies by the fountains? Maybe an artist has begun a chalk drawing on the pavement? Sure, but there’s something you may have missed. It’s in this picture. The foreground, not the background. Easy to look straight past, eh? But these trollies contain the gear that keeps Yoda flying in the air. If you hang around, you can watch them gradually building the structure. Eventually he looks a little like this: Flying Yoda is pretty impressive, and there’s a few of them around now. In fact, I took this picture of him in York.  But why am I writing about flying Yoda in this blog about charities? Well… Flying Yoda has a few things to teach us. Let’s be clear about what keeps us flying Like this Yoda, all charities need a support structure to make it look like we’re flying. But I wonder whether we’re not selling the general public a line that we’re ‘all about the flying.’ At times we exaggerate – or at least over claim – the benefits of what we do, or the numbers of people we’re reaching with our services, potentially to our detriment. It’s very rare that one organisation’s services provide the ‘magic bullet’ that solves all issues. Furthermore, if we need to provide administrative or support functions to be as effective as possible, let’s be clear about how integral this is to our processes and to achieving positive outcomes. Otherwise we are doing a disservice to ourselves and to our sector. The unseen also has great value We need to be clear why our organisational costs (whether they’re office costs, overheads or staffing) are so important, not just in providing our services but in keeping the show on the road in so many different ways. Similarly, I worry that we are often in danger of undercharging for, and consequently undervaluing, so much of what we do. We are not circus acts And this is the most important point. Do you think anybody in Trafalgar Square actually thinks they're witnessing magic? Isn't part of the fascination in wondering how it's done? We, as charities, need to shatter the often held perception that should be able to perform our miracles for free. We need to explain why we’re the right people to do the job.We need to be clear both about the benefits of what we do, and the expertise we bring to finding the solutions. We are professionals. What we are doing is so important. Let’s stop hiding it beneath a long cloak. May the force be with you.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker   
    Oct 27, 2015 2387
  • 20 Oct 2015
    This year’s #GivingTuesday is taking place on December 1st 2015 #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving, now in its fourth year. Across the world, from Los Angeles to Anglesey, people will be coming together in the spirit of giving. Whether donating, volunteering or simply lending your voice, this is a real opportunity for you to make a difference. Support a local charity on the day, and you could have an even bigger impact. Our recent study into the local voluntary sector has revealed that local groups are dangerously overstretched and seldom receive the support they need. 81% of local charities are facing an increase in demand for services, but only 15% of those feel sufficiently resourced to deal with a continued escalation  Shockingly, just 47% of local groups confident that they will be able to stay financially afloat over the next 5 years.   Together we can be the catalyst to change this! As a little incentive for supporters and fundraisers to get involved with this year’s #GivingTuesday, Localgiving will be running a match fund campaign on the day. Through #GiveMe5, we will be matching 1000 X £5 donations made to Localgiving groups. On last year’s #GivingTuesday, our Triple Tenner Tuesday match fund raised £75,736 for small, local charities in just 24 hours. There are various ways that you can get involved: Spread the word using the hashtag #GiveMe5 - and why not liven your campaign up with Selfie (see right) Search for a charity on Localgiving by region and cause and make a £5 donation on #GivingTuesday (December 1st 2015) for the chance to have your donation doubled Encourage local groups that you care about to get involved with the campaign. Remember, If you are already a member you can refer other groups using your unique link. Once they are online we'll donate £10 to your cause - plus another £10 to theirs! We look forward to seeing your #GiveMe5 selfies flooding in!
    2550 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • This year’s #GivingTuesday is taking place on December 1st 2015 #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving, now in its fourth year. Across the world, from Los Angeles to Anglesey, people will be coming together in the spirit of giving. Whether donating, volunteering or simply lending your voice, this is a real opportunity for you to make a difference. Support a local charity on the day, and you could have an even bigger impact. Our recent study into the local voluntary sector has revealed that local groups are dangerously overstretched and seldom receive the support they need. 81% of local charities are facing an increase in demand for services, but only 15% of those feel sufficiently resourced to deal with a continued escalation  Shockingly, just 47% of local groups confident that they will be able to stay financially afloat over the next 5 years.   Together we can be the catalyst to change this! As a little incentive for supporters and fundraisers to get involved with this year’s #GivingTuesday, Localgiving will be running a match fund campaign on the day. Through #GiveMe5, we will be matching 1000 X £5 donations made to Localgiving groups. On last year’s #GivingTuesday, our Triple Tenner Tuesday match fund raised £75,736 for small, local charities in just 24 hours. There are various ways that you can get involved: Spread the word using the hashtag #GiveMe5 - and why not liven your campaign up with Selfie (see right) Search for a charity on Localgiving by region and cause and make a £5 donation on #GivingTuesday (December 1st 2015) for the chance to have your donation doubled Encourage local groups that you care about to get involved with the campaign. Remember, If you are already a member you can refer other groups using your unique link. Once they are online we'll donate £10 to your cause - plus another £10 to theirs! We look forward to seeing your #GiveMe5 selfies flooding in!
    Oct 20, 2015 2550
  • 15 Oct 2015
    Lessons on social media engagement for charities from the feline rulers of the internet Jeanne-Claire Morley is the Digital Marketing Executive at the Royal Horticultural Society, and previously at Doctors of the World UK. This is her favourite cat video. Cats run the web. We all know that. Chances are that everyone reading this has accessed at least one cat video in their internet lifetimes or been sent some version of a cat-based meme disguised as a meeting review. Cats have reached a level of online omnipresence usually only reserved for the Kardashians and they’ve done so without millions of pounds worth of PR. So what are the hard and fast rules about online content that we can learn from our four-legged friends? Lesson One: Who cares? Cats in the real world may be adorable, but they do not care about you. The internet has provided a place for all those affection-starved cat lovers to obtain the content they want without risking emotional rejection. Ridiculous as that might sound, cat videos provide the exact content that users who search for them are after. Can you say the same thing about your charity’s online presence? Your social media should always appeal directly to users who are emotionally involved in your mission. For example: if you’re a health charity then it may be people who have had loved ones affected by the illness your organisation is working against, or if you’re an advocacy charity then you may inflame the conscience of users with whom you’re politically aligned. Whatever it is, make sure that your content not only appeals to that passion trigger, but also constantly provides them with new and relevant information. If you’re serving your audience content that doesn’t consider their needs, your engagement will suffer. Lesson Two: Know your (visual) worth Cats are cute. They have tiny paws and noses and are fluffy. They’re also ridiculous creatures who often behave like they’ve been programmed by aliens. As a combination this makes for obviously persuasive viewing, whether that’s image or video-based, and also perfectly demonstrates what it is about cats that people want to engage with. Whatever your charity, there will be an aspect of it that will be visually compelling. At the Royal Horticultural Society we have the distinct advantage of representing flowers and plants, and as such our media tends to be lush and gorgeous to look at. In general if you think about what it is that makes the work your organisation does important you will get some good inspiration points to start building your social media content strategy. For example, Charity:Water use photos of kids and adults interacting with the water their organisation brings to remote areas of the globe to demonstrate the worth of their work. These types of images give a positive impression of the impact of your charity, and in turn drive good engagement with your charity online.  Lesson Three: Don’t panic about quality The best and most engaging cat content online generally doesn’t look like it’s been shot by Martin Scorsese. More often than not it’s the result of one smartphone pointed at the right cat at the right time. The content works because of the cat itself rather than the style of the photo or video. There’s a propensity when developing content for brand social media to get stuck on overthinking its development, but realistically your subject will do most of the talking for you. Remember lesson one and lesson two: keep in mind the people who care about what you do, and what it is about the work of your charity that matters. Take photos and videos of anything you encounter that fits either of these criteria (or, even better, both) and you will steadily build a library of content for social media without spending a penny.   Image "Turkish Van Cat"       Found this blog post useful? You may also like:   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha Don’t save you Pitch for the Elevator by Emma BeestonHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe AmarThe Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker   
    1772 Posted by Jeanne-Claire Morley
  • Lessons on social media engagement for charities from the feline rulers of the internet Jeanne-Claire Morley is the Digital Marketing Executive at the Royal Horticultural Society, and previously at Doctors of the World UK. This is her favourite cat video. Cats run the web. We all know that. Chances are that everyone reading this has accessed at least one cat video in their internet lifetimes or been sent some version of a cat-based meme disguised as a meeting review. Cats have reached a level of online omnipresence usually only reserved for the Kardashians and they’ve done so without millions of pounds worth of PR. So what are the hard and fast rules about online content that we can learn from our four-legged friends? Lesson One: Who cares? Cats in the real world may be adorable, but they do not care about you. The internet has provided a place for all those affection-starved cat lovers to obtain the content they want without risking emotional rejection. Ridiculous as that might sound, cat videos provide the exact content that users who search for them are after. Can you say the same thing about your charity’s online presence? Your social media should always appeal directly to users who are emotionally involved in your mission. For example: if you’re a health charity then it may be people who have had loved ones affected by the illness your organisation is working against, or if you’re an advocacy charity then you may inflame the conscience of users with whom you’re politically aligned. Whatever it is, make sure that your content not only appeals to that passion trigger, but also constantly provides them with new and relevant information. If you’re serving your audience content that doesn’t consider their needs, your engagement will suffer. Lesson Two: Know your (visual) worth Cats are cute. They have tiny paws and noses and are fluffy. They’re also ridiculous creatures who often behave like they’ve been programmed by aliens. As a combination this makes for obviously persuasive viewing, whether that’s image or video-based, and also perfectly demonstrates what it is about cats that people want to engage with. Whatever your charity, there will be an aspect of it that will be visually compelling. At the Royal Horticultural Society we have the distinct advantage of representing flowers and plants, and as such our media tends to be lush and gorgeous to look at. In general if you think about what it is that makes the work your organisation does important you will get some good inspiration points to start building your social media content strategy. For example, Charity:Water use photos of kids and adults interacting with the water their organisation brings to remote areas of the globe to demonstrate the worth of their work. These types of images give a positive impression of the impact of your charity, and in turn drive good engagement with your charity online.  Lesson Three: Don’t panic about quality The best and most engaging cat content online generally doesn’t look like it’s been shot by Martin Scorsese. More often than not it’s the result of one smartphone pointed at the right cat at the right time. The content works because of the cat itself rather than the style of the photo or video. There’s a propensity when developing content for brand social media to get stuck on overthinking its development, but realistically your subject will do most of the talking for you. Remember lesson one and lesson two: keep in mind the people who care about what you do, and what it is about the work of your charity that matters. Take photos and videos of anything you encounter that fits either of these criteria (or, even better, both) and you will steadily build a library of content for social media without spending a penny.   Image "Turkish Van Cat"       Found this blog post useful? You may also like:   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha Don’t save you Pitch for the Elevator by Emma BeestonHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe AmarThe Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker   
    Oct 15, 2015 1772
  • 12 Oct 2015
    Over the summer, we sent out a survey to representatives from local charities and community groups asking for their viewpoints on the current issues affecting their organisations. Our aim was to gather perspectives from as many different cause areas, locations and types of group as possible, so as to gain an extensive overview of the local voluntary sector in the UK. Report findings Today, to coincide with the launch of Grow Your Tenner, we have released the findings of this study in our first Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report. Its results will help to better inform the work Localgiving does to support its members and advocate for local charities and community groups. Our hope is that it will also serve as a catalyst to inspire other key stakeholders across society to engage with the sector and work together to tackle the problems it faces. The report showcases some of the fantastic attributes that local voluntary organisations share, which make them such valuable assets to the communities they serve. However, it also serves to highlight some of the pressing issues facing many groups around the country. Whilst an increase in demand for services shows no sign of slowing, many organisations are left struggling to cover core costs and unable to plan for the future. At the same time, many feel much of the general public are unaware of their work, making it all the more difficult to build connections with new supporters. Grow Your Tenner This is where initiatives like Grow Your Tenner come in. Our hope is that this year’s campaign will help to further raise awareness and support for the sector, whilst also enabling groups to develop practical fundraising skills and build lasting connections with new supporters. Over the past three years we have seen some amazing results and heard some incredible stories from groups taking part. Now in it’s fourth year, we hope that Grow Your Tenner 2015 will engage more new people with the work of the local voluntary sector and serve as a beacon for our future plans to support these vital organisations and their work. How you can get involved: Double your donation Click here to find a local charity and donate now. We’ll match your donation pound-for-pound by up to £10. Or, choose to set up a monthly donation and we’ll match it by up to £10 a month for the first 3 months. Register your organisation If you’re a local charity or community group that is not currently a member of Localgiving, there’s still plenty of time to take part in this year’s Grow Your Tenner and benefit from up to £10,000 of match funding. Simply click here to join us now. We’ll aim to get you online and accepting donations within 1 working day of receiving your completed documents, with many groups up and running the same day! For more information about Grow Your Tenner, including FAQs, please click here.  
    5765 Posted by Lou Coady
  • Over the summer, we sent out a survey to representatives from local charities and community groups asking for their viewpoints on the current issues affecting their organisations. Our aim was to gather perspectives from as many different cause areas, locations and types of group as possible, so as to gain an extensive overview of the local voluntary sector in the UK. Report findings Today, to coincide with the launch of Grow Your Tenner, we have released the findings of this study in our first Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report. Its results will help to better inform the work Localgiving does to support its members and advocate for local charities and community groups. Our hope is that it will also serve as a catalyst to inspire other key stakeholders across society to engage with the sector and work together to tackle the problems it faces. The report showcases some of the fantastic attributes that local voluntary organisations share, which make them such valuable assets to the communities they serve. However, it also serves to highlight some of the pressing issues facing many groups around the country. Whilst an increase in demand for services shows no sign of slowing, many organisations are left struggling to cover core costs and unable to plan for the future. At the same time, many feel much of the general public are unaware of their work, making it all the more difficult to build connections with new supporters. Grow Your Tenner This is where initiatives like Grow Your Tenner come in. Our hope is that this year’s campaign will help to further raise awareness and support for the sector, whilst also enabling groups to develop practical fundraising skills and build lasting connections with new supporters. Over the past three years we have seen some amazing results and heard some incredible stories from groups taking part. Now in it’s fourth year, we hope that Grow Your Tenner 2015 will engage more new people with the work of the local voluntary sector and serve as a beacon for our future plans to support these vital organisations and their work. How you can get involved: Double your donation Click here to find a local charity and donate now. We’ll match your donation pound-for-pound by up to £10. Or, choose to set up a monthly donation and we’ll match it by up to £10 a month for the first 3 months. Register your organisation If you’re a local charity or community group that is not currently a member of Localgiving, there’s still plenty of time to take part in this year’s Grow Your Tenner and benefit from up to £10,000 of match funding. Simply click here to join us now. We’ll aim to get you online and accepting donations within 1 working day of receiving your completed documents, with many groups up and running the same day! For more information about Grow Your Tenner, including FAQs, please click here.  
    Oct 12, 2015 5765
  • 07 Oct 2015
    The winter may be coming, but there’s still something growing – your tenners! Grow Your Tenner, our annual match fund campaign, starts next week and we’re excited to help double donations to local charities and community groups across the UK. How does it work Single donations are matched pound-for-pound up to £10, and monthly donations up to £10 per month for 3 months. All charities with active Localgiving memberships are eligible to receive up to a maximum of £10,000 of match funding.  The campaign will run across the whole of the UK. With Gift Aid, a one-time donation of £10 made through Localgiving.com during Grow Your Tenner will generate £21.67. This means that when someone sets up a monthly donation for your cause this  would result in £65.31 (including Gift Aid) after the three months of matching, and will continue to bring in £11.77 a month until it is stopped. Just think about what 5 Direct Debits set up could bring in for your charity after 12 months! £856.20 to be exact. Read our FAQs and terms and conditions for more information. It starts with £10 Part of the mission of Grow Your Tenner is to help local voluntary organisations engage new supporters for their cause. £10 is a great starting point for many people who haven’t donated to a charity or community group before. During the campaign, a charity receives over double from a donation that is eligible for Gift Aid made by a new supporter. But that’s not all, for any supporter that opts-in to communications, a charity can collect their contact information and keep these new supporters engaged with their work. 81% of donors say it is important that they receive some form of communication from a charity after making a donation. While a personal thank you is great, donors also care about the impact their donations have made - why not update them about the difference their money has made after the campaign, too? Keeping supporters engaged with the projects your charity is working on increases the likelihood that they will donate to a cause again (and again, and again) and less likely that they will cancel a monthly donation they’ve set up. How we can help make it a success We’ve been busy at Localgiving HQ making resources to help give you the best chance of a successful campaign. Check out our resources for Grow Your Tenner. These includes tips for social media, story-telling and encouraging monthly donations, as well as templates to help you get started with emails and contacting the press. For some inspiration - see the award winners and runners up of last year’s campaign and see how they fundraised here. Still time to join in Not yet a member of Localgiving? Don't worry, there is no time limit for inclusion. If you're a local voluntary organisation then sign up and be included in the campaign straight away! Click here to join us. Happy fundraising!
    1622 Posted by Steph Heyden
  • The winter may be coming, but there’s still something growing – your tenners! Grow Your Tenner, our annual match fund campaign, starts next week and we’re excited to help double donations to local charities and community groups across the UK. How does it work Single donations are matched pound-for-pound up to £10, and monthly donations up to £10 per month for 3 months. All charities with active Localgiving memberships are eligible to receive up to a maximum of £10,000 of match funding.  The campaign will run across the whole of the UK. With Gift Aid, a one-time donation of £10 made through Localgiving.com during Grow Your Tenner will generate £21.67. This means that when someone sets up a monthly donation for your cause this  would result in £65.31 (including Gift Aid) after the three months of matching, and will continue to bring in £11.77 a month until it is stopped. Just think about what 5 Direct Debits set up could bring in for your charity after 12 months! £856.20 to be exact. Read our FAQs and terms and conditions for more information. It starts with £10 Part of the mission of Grow Your Tenner is to help local voluntary organisations engage new supporters for their cause. £10 is a great starting point for many people who haven’t donated to a charity or community group before. During the campaign, a charity receives over double from a donation that is eligible for Gift Aid made by a new supporter. But that’s not all, for any supporter that opts-in to communications, a charity can collect their contact information and keep these new supporters engaged with their work. 81% of donors say it is important that they receive some form of communication from a charity after making a donation. While a personal thank you is great, donors also care about the impact their donations have made - why not update them about the difference their money has made after the campaign, too? Keeping supporters engaged with the projects your charity is working on increases the likelihood that they will donate to a cause again (and again, and again) and less likely that they will cancel a monthly donation they’ve set up. How we can help make it a success We’ve been busy at Localgiving HQ making resources to help give you the best chance of a successful campaign. Check out our resources for Grow Your Tenner. These includes tips for social media, story-telling and encouraging monthly donations, as well as templates to help you get started with emails and contacting the press. For some inspiration - see the award winners and runners up of last year’s campaign and see how they fundraised here. Still time to join in Not yet a member of Localgiving? Don't worry, there is no time limit for inclusion. If you're a local voluntary organisation then sign up and be included in the campaign straight away! Click here to join us. Happy fundraising!
    Oct 07, 2015 1622
  • 06 Oct 2015
    Our members often ask us 'How can we ask for money? What are people interested in hearing about?' The key to successful fundraising is the ability to communicate what you do in a way which garners public support. The aim is to get the right balance between (a) building trust in your work by providing specific details, and (b) creating an emotional connection with your supporters by showing the impact of your work on your service users. Here are our 5 tips for effectively communicating what you do.... If you need any help with developing a 'pitch' for your group, get in touch with us on 0300 111 2340. Or, email a draft to help@localgiving.com.
    1346 Posted by Cara Sanquest
  • Our members often ask us 'How can we ask for money? What are people interested in hearing about?' The key to successful fundraising is the ability to communicate what you do in a way which garners public support. The aim is to get the right balance between (a) building trust in your work by providing specific details, and (b) creating an emotional connection with your supporters by showing the impact of your work on your service users. Here are our 5 tips for effectively communicating what you do.... If you need any help with developing a 'pitch' for your group, get in touch with us on 0300 111 2340. Or, email a draft to help@localgiving.com.
    Oct 06, 2015 1346
  • 22 Dec 2015
    Greg Hallett has been a qualified accountant for almost 30 years. He has always worked within the smaller company environment. He believes passionately in people and in charity – that’s why he came to work with Give as you Live – this allows him to combine his passions with his business and finance background.  As MD, Greg insists that the DNA of Give as you Live is all about charity, all about people and all about honesty and integrity. Fundraising can be tough when you have a target to reach and you’ve exhausted all your contacts. But what if you could add to your fundraising target by doing something you do everyday? A great way to help boost your fundraising efforts is Give as you Live – an online shopping platform that allows you to shop online and raise money for a cause you care about. With over 4,000 stores participating in the scheme and the stores covering the cost of the donation – all you need to do is decide what you’re going to buy.  A new car insurance policy at More Than can raise on average £35 A weekly online food shop at Sainsbury’s can raise 50p A new phone contract at Carphone Warehouse can raise up to £20 The way it works is by affiliate marketing. Give as you Live gets paid a commission for driving a sale to the retailer, they then share this with the users chosen charity – making it completely free for the charity and the supporter to raise funds. You don’t have to sacrifice where you shop with most household names signed up including John Lewis, Argos, M&S, Amazon and more. And more importantly you don’t have to drastically change the way you shop. Want to try it? Step 1: Go to Give.as/localgiving and choose a Localgiving cause of your choice. Step 2: Enter your name and email to sign up with Give as you Live. Step 3: Search for the retailer you want to shop with and start shopping! Once you’ve clicked through to the retailer’s website, just continue to shop as normal. You’ll receive an email from Give as you Live within 1 to 7 days to let you know how much you’ve raised. For more information about Give as you Live and how it works, check out the FAQs here    
    1883 Posted by Greg Hallett
  • Greg Hallett has been a qualified accountant for almost 30 years. He has always worked within the smaller company environment. He believes passionately in people and in charity – that’s why he came to work with Give as you Live – this allows him to combine his passions with his business and finance background.  As MD, Greg insists that the DNA of Give as you Live is all about charity, all about people and all about honesty and integrity. Fundraising can be tough when you have a target to reach and you’ve exhausted all your contacts. But what if you could add to your fundraising target by doing something you do everyday? A great way to help boost your fundraising efforts is Give as you Live – an online shopping platform that allows you to shop online and raise money for a cause you care about. With over 4,000 stores participating in the scheme and the stores covering the cost of the donation – all you need to do is decide what you’re going to buy.  A new car insurance policy at More Than can raise on average £35 A weekly online food shop at Sainsbury’s can raise 50p A new phone contract at Carphone Warehouse can raise up to £20 The way it works is by affiliate marketing. Give as you Live gets paid a commission for driving a sale to the retailer, they then share this with the users chosen charity – making it completely free for the charity and the supporter to raise funds. You don’t have to sacrifice where you shop with most household names signed up including John Lewis, Argos, M&S, Amazon and more. And more importantly you don’t have to drastically change the way you shop. Want to try it? Step 1: Go to Give.as/localgiving and choose a Localgiving cause of your choice. Step 2: Enter your name and email to sign up with Give as you Live. Step 3: Search for the retailer you want to shop with and start shopping! Once you’ve clicked through to the retailer’s website, just continue to shop as normal. You’ll receive an email from Give as you Live within 1 to 7 days to let you know how much you’ve raised. For more information about Give as you Live and how it works, check out the FAQs here    
    Dec 22, 2015 1883
  • 24 Sep 2015
    On Wednesday, the report of the cross party review of fundraising regulation, chaired by Sir Stuart Etherington of NCVO, was released. The report includes recommendations for improved regulation to help better protect donors, as well as measures to ensure the future sustainability of voluntary sector organisations. Recommendations include greater accountability for Trustees, and a new fundraising regulator for the sector. The report highlights the need for clear separation of roles and interests. It recommends that the Institute of Fundraising and Public Fundraising Regulatory Association merge to help better provide the sector with help and advice, whilst also handing over their regulatory responsibilities to the new regulator. But what does this mean specifically for local charities and community groups? Localgiving’s viewpoint is that much of the negative press surrounding fundraising over the summer has been down to methodology primarily applied by larger charities - meaning that its impact on local groups has been minimal. In fact, we would assert that the core concepts laid out in the report for responsible, self-regulated fundraising are those that many local charities already employ to great effect. The report states: "Fundraising needs to move above and beyond regulation and compliance, from simply just doing things right to also doing the right thing. Charities need to view and approach fundraising no longer as just a money-raising technique, but as a way in which they can provide a connection between the donor and the cause. We welcome therefore the proposal from senior fundraisers and academics to establish a ’Commission on the Donor Experience’, with an emphasis on strengthening relationships between fundraising organisations and donors. And we welcome any move that shifts fundraising away from aggressive or pushy techniques and instead towards inspiring people to give and creating long-term, sustainable relationships." These are sentiments that we very much echo. We believe that: Local charities, in particular, have a key advantage at creating these kinds of long-term sustainable relationships by actively engaging with people from their community. Face-to-face interaction coupled with digital technology has the ability to create powerful connections between local people that facilitates the kind of fundraising advocated by the review. This kind of honest, value-based fundraising is eminently more sustainable than more aggressive methods - such as cold-calling - which require a large amount of resources and can suffer from various pitfalls, including negative donor experience. Find out more For those that are interested in learning more about the key points of the fundraising review, the Guardian has published an excellent rundown of the implications of the report for the voluntary sector. If you have any further questions about the report or fundraising best practice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for free advice and support at help@localgiving.com or on 0300 111 2340.
    1849 Posted by Lou Coady
  • On Wednesday, the report of the cross party review of fundraising regulation, chaired by Sir Stuart Etherington of NCVO, was released. The report includes recommendations for improved regulation to help better protect donors, as well as measures to ensure the future sustainability of voluntary sector organisations. Recommendations include greater accountability for Trustees, and a new fundraising regulator for the sector. The report highlights the need for clear separation of roles and interests. It recommends that the Institute of Fundraising and Public Fundraising Regulatory Association merge to help better provide the sector with help and advice, whilst also handing over their regulatory responsibilities to the new regulator. But what does this mean specifically for local charities and community groups? Localgiving’s viewpoint is that much of the negative press surrounding fundraising over the summer has been down to methodology primarily applied by larger charities - meaning that its impact on local groups has been minimal. In fact, we would assert that the core concepts laid out in the report for responsible, self-regulated fundraising are those that many local charities already employ to great effect. The report states: "Fundraising needs to move above and beyond regulation and compliance, from simply just doing things right to also doing the right thing. Charities need to view and approach fundraising no longer as just a money-raising technique, but as a way in which they can provide a connection between the donor and the cause. We welcome therefore the proposal from senior fundraisers and academics to establish a ’Commission on the Donor Experience’, with an emphasis on strengthening relationships between fundraising organisations and donors. And we welcome any move that shifts fundraising away from aggressive or pushy techniques and instead towards inspiring people to give and creating long-term, sustainable relationships." These are sentiments that we very much echo. We believe that: Local charities, in particular, have a key advantage at creating these kinds of long-term sustainable relationships by actively engaging with people from their community. Face-to-face interaction coupled with digital technology has the ability to create powerful connections between local people that facilitates the kind of fundraising advocated by the review. This kind of honest, value-based fundraising is eminently more sustainable than more aggressive methods - such as cold-calling - which require a large amount of resources and can suffer from various pitfalls, including negative donor experience. Find out more For those that are interested in learning more about the key points of the fundraising review, the Guardian has published an excellent rundown of the implications of the report for the voluntary sector. If you have any further questions about the report or fundraising best practice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for free advice and support at help@localgiving.com or on 0300 111 2340.
    Sep 24, 2015 1849